New Orleans Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Tropical Storm Nate

Just as the United States mainland and Caribbean begin to pick up the pieces left over from massive hurricanes over the past several months, yet another storm is now forming in the Gulf of Mexico and is threatening the already devastated coastal region. In response, regions in the storm’s path are taking action, and one has already declared a state of emergency.

Tropical Storm Nate has already caused 22 deaths in Central America so far, in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Not taking any chances, the Mayor of New Orleans has now issued a state of emergency for the city days of ahead of when the storm is predicted to make landfall.

Fox News is reporting that while it is not a time to panic, the time is now for resident to begin moving to higher ground, especially those who live in areas that are in the lowest-lying areas or are beyond the levee system.

In preparation for the storm, the city is working with state and federal officials to get the entire area’s drainage and levee systems prepped.

In New Orleans, officials were outlining how they intend to fortify that city’s pump and drainage system after flash floods this summer exposed weaknesses in the system.

In Florida, the western Panhandle was facing a potential threat as it is just outside the eastern edge of Nate’s 3-day forecast cone but inside the edge of the 5-day cone.

A direct impact to South Florida is not expected but the area will likely see some more rain this weekend as Nate churns up through the Gulf.

“Nate will pass well to the west of South Florida, so that means a continued deep flow of moisture from the south and a good chance of showers and thunderstorms during the weekend,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesperson for the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.

The NHC currently has the storm on a path that has New Orleans right in its sights.

The beginning of tropical storm conditions is expected this weekend.

The storm may bring great amounts of rainfall over the regions it impacts.

Currently, Nate has sustained winds of just about 40 mph. It is still well-below the hurricane-level threshold of 74 mph. However, the storm is expected to intensify as it passes through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico over the next 2 days.

Nate is the busy 2017 Atlantic hurricane season’s latest named storm, having originated from Tropical Depression 16 — which developed Wednesday in the southwestern Caribbean Sea.

In the past 24 hours, Nate’s projected path has changed, with the track shifting west and farther away from Florida.

Initially, the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center on Wednesday had the storm’s core headed straight for Florida’s northern Gulf Coast near Panama City Beach.

That changed overnight. The storm’s center as of Thursday was headed toward the general vicinity of the mouth of the Mississippi River at the southeastern tip of Louisiana.

Southern Louisiana suffered flooding from Hurricane Harvey back in August. Even after the storm dumped over 50 inches of rain over some areas of Texas, there was still enough moisture in the system to dump more inches of rain as it traveled eastward.

Hopefully officials will be better equipped to handle preparations and cleanup than in years past.